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FROM BANGLADESH TO GOA: A HELPLESS SEX VICTIM’S SAGA

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FROM BANGLADESH TO GOA: A HELPLESS SEX VICTIM’S SAGA

What happens in the terribly painful life of a child-trafficking victim? What are the horrors she has to go through beginning with a late night border crossing to regular rape by clients? PETER D’SOUZA and PREETU NAIR investigate further and piece together a 16-year-old girl’s nightmare that ended with her returning home last week. This is a true story.

PANAJI: It is a story of extraordinary pain! A poverty-stricken Bangladeshi family is approached by an apparently well-meaning woman, who offers their daughter a lucrative job with the promise of a fortune. That was the innocuous beginning to an eight-month nightmare that had all the elements of deceit, hatred, lucre and lust.

When Parvin (one of the three women) first visited their home in a village in Coomilla district, which is almost eight hours drive from Dhaka, the 16-year-old Mumtaz (name changed) saw a ray of hope for the family because Parvin came with a promise of a job in a steel factory in Gulf. But there was a hitch! Parvin wanted to take her elder sister. But standard VIII student, Mumtaz convinced her parents and Parvin that she was the perfect choice for the job.

After initial resentment, her father, a retired textile worker and her mother, a housewife agreed, not knowing that their little daughter’s life would soon become a living hell. In fact, they even shelled out Rs 60,000 (Bangladeshi Taka) to Parvin, out of which Rs 50,000 was taken as a loan and the rest was kept aside to carry out work in the field.

On November 23, 2004 Mumtaz was brought in from Bangladesh to India via Kolkatta along with two other girls. In Kolkatta, they were given a different name and identity and taken to Mumbai, where she met Rekha and Arti, the two other accused, and to Ahmedabad, where she was first forced into prostitution. Says a Child Welfare Committee (CWC) source, “When Mumtaz refused to please a man, the women held Mumtaz’s limbs, while the drunken man raped her.”

Within two days, she was brought back to Mumbai in a battered state. She refused to talk or eat and demanded to talk to her father. Back again she was sent with Arti to Ahmedabad, where she managed to stealthily inform her father on phone about her plight. But she was soon caught and punished.

“You will have to earn money for me now”, said Arti beating her. She was soon sent to Gandhidham, in Gujarat, where the broker’s wife rescued her and gave her protection.

Meanwhile, Mumtaz’s father along with few other people lodged a complaint against Parvin.

Soon she left Gandhidham to go to Bangladesh, but was caught at Borivali station by Rekha. They threatened her with dire consequences, but when she continued with her plea to return to Bangladesh, Rekha said, “You go to Goa and work as waitress in ladies night bar and you will be paid Rs 15,000. With the money you can return home.”

Left with no option, she agreed and arrived in Goa in April this year along with Rekha, where she met Prabha, the sex racket’s Queen Bee. At first, she refused to work, but soon she was warned, “If you don’t work, you won’t be able to go home.” And the first day, she was sent to “work” she was caught by the Pernem police, who took her to Apna Ghar saying that they had found her at the Pernem railway station, and that she had run away from home with her boyfriend.

Ironically, Vishram Borkar, SP, Crime Branch in a press conference soon after they nabbed the three women – Parvin, Arti and Rekha — had stated that the matter first came to light in mid-April when three boys and a girl checked into a hotel in North Goa. The staff at the hotel suspected something amiss and informed the police. The three boys however managed to escape from the hotel leaving behind the teenager who was taken into custody by the police and then sent to Apna Ghar. From here, she was admitted at Institute of Psychiatry and Human Behaviour, Goa as she was under immense stress.

At Apna Ghar, Parvin came to visit her on the pretext that she is her sister and wanted to take her home. One day, she came with a letter from the Pernem police dated 13 June, 2005 asking the CWC to hand over the girl to Parvin, revealed a CWC member.

But when GT contacted Pernem police, PI Sagar Ekosker informed that he must have sent a letter since Tara Kerkar had come to them claiming that the girl’s parents have come to collect her and hence she wanted a release letter from them. PI Ekosker said, “Since I knew Tara well and the girl’s parents had come to collect her, I had no objections whatsoever of the girl going with her parents. At that time, we didn’t know about the sex racket”.

Once the counsellors at Apna Ghar won the victim’s trust, she revealed everything. Meanwhile, CWC got in touch with the High Commission of Bangladesh, New Delhi, a Delhi based NGO STOP (Stop Trafficking and Oppression of Child and Women) as well as a Bangladeshi NGO, Bangladesh National Women’s Lawyers Association. At that time, the CWC informed Vishram Borkar, SP, Crime Branch that they were in touch with the High Commission of Bangladesh to repatriate the girl. “But he laughed it off saying that High Commission of Bangladesh doesn’t have money to take back the girl,” informed CWC chairperson, Dr Damodar Kunkoliekar.

But Borkar reiterated that no one has contacted him nor there was any document to prove it.

The girl was sent along with Roma Debabrata, President, STOP to Delhi on 24 July and from there she was taken to Bangladesh on 25 July. Confirming this, Debabrata told GT over the phone, “I was contacted by the High Commission of Bangladesh and when I came to know that the child is in a bad shape, as she was abused physically and mentally, I thought that it was in the best interest of the child to send her home to her parents in Bangladesh”. She was permitted to do so by the CWC members and so the minor girl was sent home.
When GT contacted Bangladesh National Women’s Lawyers Association, they said that the girl was safe at home in Bangladesh.

Goa Police: A story of contradictions

As the picture of the girl’s repatriation with a “person” from the Bangladeshi embassy became clearer, the Goa police’s role in the whole episode is getting murkier. Worse still, contradictions galore pour forth from the senior police officials!

ON DJ AGNELO
DYSP CRIME BRANCH Bossuet D’Silva
“DJ Agnelo was getting a hefty sum from Prabha and asked them to leave when something fishy was going on”.

DIG Ujjwal Mishra
“He had sub-let the house to someone who in turn let it out to Prabha. So DJ Agnelo is nowhere in the sex racket.”

SP Vishram Borkar, Crime Branch
“DJ Agnelo’s house is a guest house. And therefore the need to register Prabha and others for staying at the guesthouse didn’t arise. Agnelo is nowhere involved in the case.”

Flesh trader Parvin is wanted in Bangladesh. A case has been filed under the 5 (1) provision of Women and Children Repression Prevention Act 2000 (amended in 2003) for which the proceedings have started in Bangladesh.

Credits: Preetu Nair, GT

One Comment

  1. SEEKING HELP & SUPPORT TO CHANGE OPPRESSIVE LAWS
    Dear Sir
    After1972 many of the Bangladeshi Citizens started to ESTABLISH INDUSTRIES investing family resources using innovative technology as self earner & to create job for million of unemployed person.
    And Government also decided to help these rapidly growing PRIVATE SECTOR INDUSTRIES with from International Loan giving Agencies,/ Donor Agencies through different Bank. From 1989 .
    But the Industrial Entrepreneurs becomes victims of deep rooted conspiracy , the Bank Official started harassing the Industrial Entrepreneur extending non-co-operation, negligence and refrain themselves from appraising the production capacity or to provide minimum amount of working capital loan etc.
    Due to Such Non Banking Activities of Bank Official & Policy Maker, The Owners of these Industries have lost their Cash Capital, Expatriate Capabilities, and became helpless victims of deep rooted conspiracy having similarity to the
    HISTORY WHICH REMIND US THAT THE HANDS OF THE TECHNICIAN OF MUSLIN FABRICS “ ,THE FINEST QUALITY FABRICS WHICH WERE EVER MADE IN BENGAL ONLY “ WERE CUT DOWN BY THE THEN COLONIAL RULER OF UNDIVIDED INDIA.
    In 1992 & 1996 these Industries were Identified and Registered by the Sick Industries Rehabilitation Cell of Bangladesh Government as SICK INDUSTRIES declared not as will full defaulter & rather victims of Violation of Contract, Negligence, Fraudulent Activities, Malpractices of Bank Officials including Policy Maker / Law Maker due to absence of accountability.
    Industrial Entrepreneur are deprive of LEGAL RIGHT due to enactment of BANK RUPTCY ACT of 1997 and ARTHA RIN ACT of 1989 which were amended on 2003 and 2007 treating the INDUSTRIAL ENTRPRENEURS OF PRIVATE SECTOR as like as SLAVE of Primitive Age.
    THERE ARE NO PROVISION YET FOR APPLICATION OF LAW OF TORT which are most common law even in neighboring countries not to speak of USA , EUROPE or AUSTRALIA, DUE TO WHICH BANGLADESH HAS BECOME A HEAVEN FOR REPRESSION / EXPLOITATION BY OFFENDERS / WRONG DOERS helping to increase the number of poor people in multiple ration
    OWNER OF INDUSTRIES CAN NOT CLAIM ANY SET OFF or COMPENSATION FOR VIOLATION OF CONTRACT, NEGLEGIENCES, MALPRACTICES, FRADULENT ACTIVITIES BY BANK OFFICIAL or LOAN GIVING AGENCIES ON THE SAME SUIT FILED BY BANKS or Loan Giving Agencies for realization of Loan till date.
    And to ensure total indemnity to Bank Official for Malpractices & Fraudulent Activities including violation of contract Industrial Entrepreneur in Bangladesh can only file a separate suit for compensation in separate civil Court spoiling valuable time of the Judges of the Court, creating more complicacy for life long litigation WITH OF NO RESULT due to restriction to obstruct or resist any order / decree of ARTHA RIN ACT / COURT by any other DECREE OR ORDER OF OTHER COURT or even of by HIGHER COURT misguiding the vast majority of Bangladesh Citizen due to the illiteracy and ignorance about the process of industries.
    THE RIGHT OF EQUITY OF LAW HAVE COMPLETELY BEEN DENIED TO THE INDUSTRIAL ENTREPRENEUR of Private Sector as per Section 12, 12 ( khan ) 18, 19, 20, 21, 34,40, 41, 42, 44, 47 and 50 of ARTHA RIN ACT. WHICH ARE COMMONLY KNOWN AS OPPRESSIVE LAW and direct violation of ARTICLE No: 8, 15, 26 and 27 of BANGLADESH CONSTITUTION ?
    ( ******* Details of above sections of ARTHA RIN ACT in short have been given as below )

    And similarly the Door of Higher Court have also been closed to the Industries Owner imposing terms for advance deposit of 50 % of deecretal amount by the Artha Rin Court which are not applicable upon any Bank or Loan Giving Agencies. These are few example of oppressive laws how the citizen are repressed and depriving legal right by the policy maker/ miss -guiding the innocent or ignorant vast majority of Citizen of Bangladesh very cleverly
    Now there are no other alternative but to draw the kind attention of Concerned Authority Including International Community / Organizations seeking help to save & protect the OWNER OF SICK OR DISTRESSED INDUSTRIES OF Bangladesh of Private Sector, including their properties from such conspiracy and oppressive laws as well to protect the interest of large number of workers, staffs of the Private Sector and also for CHANGE of such oppressive laws to change the Economy of the country or the Society.
    ( A ) – Our humble appeal before the Government of Bangladesh to kindly allow Industrial Entrepreneur to claim Set Off or compensation on suit filed by the Bank / loan Giving Agencies. or to Run Compensation Suit Simultaneously with suits file by Bank Officials under ARTHA RIN ACT -2003 with equal opportunity and equal right between Banks / Loan Giving Agencies and of Industrial Entrepreneurs keeping similarity with on going process of ECONOMIC and ADMINISTRATIVE ,REFORMS PROGRAMME & also with the Anti Corruption Drive.
    (B)- The identified and registered SICK INDUSTRIES of 1992 & 1996 may kindly be allowed 100 % weaver of all type of loan liabilities
    (C) – And the above mention SECTIONS OF ARTHA RIN ACTS should be abolished to restore accountability
    (D All Suit of Artha Rin Court may kindly be transferred to Civil Commercial court with equal right for fair judgment as the present verdict of Artha Rin Court are highly illegal and violation of ARTICLE 8. 15, 26 & 27 of Bangladesh Constitution
    (E ) – And Section 28 ( Ka ) of BANKING COMPANY of 2001 is misleading one which explain WRITTEN OFF does not mean Weaver. This is misguiding the International Community and Bangladesh National .
    (F )- The system of mortgage of land & Properties from the Industrial Borrowers by Bank or any Loan Giving Agencies should also be abolished to ESTABLISH ACCOUNTABILITY or to Check Malpractices which are now existing in Banks or other Loan Giving Agencies.
    ( G ) – It would be highly appreciated if your good self kindly collect the PRINTED COPIES OF THE ABOVE MENTION LAWS for confirmation of facts.& to help the Suffering Groups by circulating this appeal among Honorable Member of your Organization and Partner’s Organizations & to Publish in WEBSITES or News Bulletin or News Media, Electronic Media of your territory to bring to the knowledge of Concern Authority including International COMMUNITY OR ORGANIZATIONS working for HUMAN RIGHT & FUNDAMENTAL / Democratic Right of People for immediate help and support to protect the Owner of the Sick Industries of Bangladesh and their properties from such OPPRESSIVE LAWS for which they all would be ever grateful as well for change of all types of oppressive laws .

    ********* N.B. the Summery of above mentioned Section of Arthatha Rin Act at a Galance:
    !- In section 18 Defendant or Owner of Industries will not be able to claim any set – off or to make counter claim against the Bank or Bank Official nor will be allowed to claim any Compensation by submitting any Suit against Bank ( Plaintiff ) analogously or simultaneously in Artha Rin Court due to violation of contract, fraudulence activities including negligence, malpractices of Bank officials.
    11. – Section 21: Settlement Conference between Borrower and Bank is a misnomer of Law of arbitration or just to divert the attention of common people in the name arbitration or to make everybody fool
    111- – -As Per Section 19 (6) of Artha Rin Act of 2003 no suits can be declared to be dismissed or discharged for default or above mentioned fault of Bank Official.
    As per Section 20 regarding any order or proceedings of Artha Rin Act can not be raised to Higher Court or to any Other Superior Authority without paying 50 % of claimed or Decretal Amount if the order is totally misleading or against any law or illegal one even .
    1V- As per Section 34 Defendant or the Owner of Industries in Artha Rin Adalat Case can be put to the Jail for compelling or forcing him to pay the Bank Money without considering the fault or negligence’s of Bank Official without allowing him to proof the matter of violation of contract, fraudulence activities , negligence, malpractices of Bank officials.

    V- As per section 41 and 42 – The Owner of Industries are not allowed to file any appeal or revision to High Court or Superior Court against any order of Artha Rin Court of 2003 without paying 50 % of the claimed amount or Decretal amount in advance , But the Bank Official are not require to pay any amount in advance in the Higher Court, allowing A Great Disparity of Law and Justice.
    V! – Under section 47 and 50 , The learned Court under Artha Rin Act of 2003 have been bared to make any exemption of principal loan amount for Violation of Contract , Negligence’s Malpractices, including fraudulent activities or any fault of the bank official uni laterally
    V11- Section 12 ( Kha ) Imposed a bar for filling write petition to Higher Court which are direct violation of human right and constitutional right of the citizen and reflects the negative attitude of the law maker
    .
    Suffering Groups of Industrial Entrepreneurs of Bangladesh

    1. Suffering Group on August 11th, 2008 at 6:29 pm

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